Wednesday, June 22, 2016


We went on vacation for a few days to Branson...well, not really Branson but Table Rock Lake outside of Branson.
We never actually even went into the city of Branson except to drive thru after dinner one evening.
We co-won this trip at an auction with the Nordells. 

Ben and I weren't even really at the auction when we won it so I had no idea what to really expect!

The condo we won was a 2 bedroom-2 bath condo at Paradise Point that also had access to all the Big Cedar Lodge property.

It is easily one of the most beautiful areas of the country and the views everyday were just breathtaking.

We woke up early and drove the about 6.5 hour drive to arrive in Branson around lunchtime.
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We spent the afternoon swimming at a pool right outside our back door and had dinner by the pool at the Big Cedar Lodge property.
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Our pool had daily activities each day and the first day was "Sandy Candy."
More like make your own giant pixie stick... like sand art but, with colored sugar.

Sunday was Father's Day and we celebrated with breakfast in our condo and opening some presents.
We started our day with a little golf... not exactly the kind Ben and Ryan were probably hoping for...but, it was fun nonetheless and we walked right out of our condo to the mini golf course.
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We packed up a picnic lunch and headed to the lazy river on Big Cedar property.
We swam in all the pools there and did all the water slides and our kids were in heaven.
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While all the boys took naps (daddies included) the big girls and Stacee and I had a little more pool time.
And the activity of the day was sand art. 

 We went out to dinner at Fall Creek that night for Father's Day and this restaurant is most famous for "tossing their rolls." Literally, the servers just throw them to you from across the restaurant.

The entire trip, the boys rode in our truck and the girls in the Nordells car.
Dylan is a little obsessed with Ryland and he was so sweet to entertain him. 
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Love these silly  boys.
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Best selfie we got at dinner...not great.
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Monday we went to Silver Dollar City.
This was something I pushed pretty hard for because I have heard nothing but amazing things about it. 
 It is basically an amusement park that is way better than Six Flags but not quite Disney. 
 It is set in 1880's America and filled with shows and rides and authentic exhibits and decor. 
 It was totally worth it. 
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 We knew the park would be decked out in red, white and blue for their Star Spangled Summer theme so we prepped early before we left and tie-dyed some shirts for the kids.
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We rode rides, saw shows, ate a picnic lunch and grabbed some park food.
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We took turns not riding rides to be with Dylan and he was a rockstar the whole day.
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Watching the big kids do the log ride. Untitled
He got to ride a few too and he loved it. He did not want me having one hand on him! He could sit up like the big kids all on his own. Branson 2016 Untitled Untitled Untitled
There were multiple kids areas in the park that were so cool and gave the kids so much to do. 
The Fireman's Landing area was awesome.
One of the coolest things I have seen was this "ball house" where the balls symbolized water and you collected and shot it out at everyone over three stories.
Kids were collecting and shooting all over the place. 

 There were suction devices pulling these balls up three floors and dumping them back on you like water.
It was cool.
Ty stayed in what Ben and I like to call the "nerd area."
It was much less violent than the rest of it and more like a science experiment watching air push these balls through hoops or stay in the air or whatever. 
 He loved it. 
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More kids area rides
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Everyone rode another water ride during Dylan's Naptime 
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It really has such beautiful grounds in the theme park! 
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The train in the middle of the hot day was nice. 
 We ate some kettle corn and got held up by some "robbers" as part of the show. 
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Kinley, Ryland and Ella were SO brave and rode one of the scariest, fastest roller coasters I've ever been on, the Powder Keg. 
 We did not know what to expect and it was way more "thrill-seeker" than I expected...especially for Kinley's first roller coaster ever. 
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This huge rocking chair at dinnertime, so cute.
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This love-fest between Mila and Dylan was precious.
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Group pics on the way out. 
 Even Ben and Ryan matched with some shirts they bought at a gas station. 
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Tuesday, our last full day, Ryan was our tour guide and planned everything so well. 

 We started off at Top of The Rock and did the Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail. 
 We rode in golf carts to see some of the most beautiful rock formations, caves and waterfalls ever. It was a blast! 
 Lots of pictures here that do not do it justice.
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Go Pro selfie 
If you know me AT ALL, you know I have a completely irrational fear of walking over grates or potholes or anything metal or man-made that is cut out of a street or sidewalk. 
 Metal-grate bridges also fall in this category. 
 You can see through them and you are standing on them and you can see how far you would fall IF this man-made structure were to give way. 

 So, it was a pretty big deal for me to stop and take a picture on this structure. 

Ryan thought it was just hysterical to get shake it while I was standing on it. 
Panic attack. Hilarious. Not. 


Then we ate a delicious lunch at Arnie's Barn and just took in the views of the Par 3 golf course, church and the sinkhole. That sinkhole is crazy and totally natural and impressive.   BransonBranson BransonBranson Branson 
After lunch we went to the beach on the lake for a little and let the kids play in the sand and swim. 
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Our last evening we packed up dinner and rented a pontoon boat on the lake. I have always had my reservations in the past about a pontoon boat. We like to do water activities on the lake and a pontoon doesn't always allow for that.
 But, this was the nicest pontoon boat I have ever been on and it was so roomy and felt so safe with all our littles! 
 I might be converted. 
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We ate dinner and explored our own "private island." 
 We asked the kids what we should name it and they called it "Texas Pirate Island."
 We walked around the entire island, gathering "treasures" and took some pictures. 
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Said "Treasures" included this dead fish carcass head and a lighter. 
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Stacee and I were actually on the trip too.

 We stopped for ice cream after the boat at Big Cedar lodge and just had the most perfect evening on the lawn. 
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This boy! 
Rooster hair in full glory and the cheesiest smile. 
Couldn't help myself! 
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 We will miss views like this! 
We were sad for our time in Branson to end. 
It was such a fun trip!

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